I got tired of looking for a picture to illustrate a job search, so instead, here's a picture of a dog in Sausalito catching a rubber chicken.
Wednesday was my last day at SAS as social media manager. I’ve written about my departure (two posts, actually: one on my SAS blog and one here) and the decision to give up a great job at a great company to go to New Marketing Labs. My old job was posted yesterday on the SAS jobs page (search job #10002098), and, as I said on Twitter, I found it a bittersweet experience seeing it there. (I think that word may have confused some people; it was bittersweet because I’m leaving a great job and great people, but it was my decision and the parting was even more amicable than I could have hoped.)
Since the job posted, I’ve had quite a few people contact me to ask about the job through a variety of methods available to us these days: email, Twitter DM, Facebook message and Skype. (No one has called.) All of their questions have been along the same lines, and since the answers are positive for all involved, I thought I’d save time and answer them here.
Q: Is it a good job?
A: Absolutely. SAS is truly a great place to work, and this is a great job for the right person. It’s the best job I’ve ever had. It’s a big company, with all that entails, so it does require someone who can build consensus and motivate people. And you’ll be able to have a tremendous amount of influence on the future direction of social media at the company, both in the U.S. and overseas.
Q: Who does it report to? What’s she like?
A: The job reports to the estimable Kelly LeVoyer, for whom I have nothing but respect and affection. She’s a good manager, a good person and a SAS veteran, so she knows her way around the place. When I left, she gave me a bottle of 20-year old port. So, like that.
Q: What skills should the person have? What do you think is most important?
A: You need to be able to motivate people. You need to know how to bring virtual teams together and get the most out of people who don’t report to you. You need to be patient, because it’s a big company and, as with any big company, there are lots of moving parts in any decision. You need to be a good writer and communicator. You need to be a good public speaker and comfortable presenting to groups both inside and outside the company. And you need to be a good project manager. You’ll have lots of balls in the air and lots of deadlines.
Also, you need to have an analytical mind and a devotion to proving the bottom-line value of social media. If you’ve never given any thought to social media monitoring, measurement and analytics, you might be tweeting up the wrong tree.
Q: Do you just hang around on Facebook all day?
A: Paradoxically, most of the time I didn’t use social media tools to do my job more than anybody else. My job was primarily to work internally to develop strategies, policies and training. I communicated primarily via email, phone and meeting. I was on Twitter a lot, and I ran the Conversations and Connections blog (until Intern Extraordinaire Stacey Alexander more or less hijacked it), but neither was a major part of my job. I wrote most of my blog posts at night, in that golden hour after everybody else has gone to sleep and I was still able to keep my eyes open.
That being said, if I were hiring my replacement I would cast a very critical eye on anyone who isn’t already blogging, tweeting, participating on Facebook and LinkedIn and hasn’t shot, edited and posted videos to YouTube. The job requires an understanding and level of comfort with the tools, because you’ll be teaching other people how to use them.
On the other hand, you don’t have to be mayor of 200 coffee shops on Foursquare and have a Tumblr account that autoposts when your dishwasher finishes the rinse cycle. You’ll need to keep your eyes on the horizon, but you’ll mostly be working with established social media channels for the foreseeable future.
Q: Do they already have somebody internal in mind?
A: Nope. It’s a sincere effort to find the best candidate, whether inside or outside of SAS.
Q: I’m thinking about applying…
A: Do it now. I suspect that, as with any SAS job, they’ve already been inundated with applications. Often SAS job postings come down after a few days because of the volume of replies.
For a while we were thinking of this job as Digital Media Manager, but a Google search for that phrase gets a lot more hits for software packages that help manage your digital media than it does for people who manage Web 2.0 activities. I suggested changing the title to Social Media Manager, fully aware that a) the term may become hopelessly hackneyed and/or quaint in six to 18 months and 2) that there are many people who believe you can’t manage social media. "Social media strategist" would have also been a perfectly good title, although with the trails I need to blaze, I didn’t feel like creating a whole new taxonomy for our HR department as well.
So in this blog’s spirit of looking behind the curtain, I present my job description.
Social Media Manager
The SAS Social Media Manager is both internally- and externally-focused on developing & executing SASâ€™ social media strategy and advocating for the external community. Externally, he or she identifies influential opportunities, engages regularly with SASâ€™ audiences online and may be called upon to speak publicly as a thought-leader on SASâ€™ social media strategy. This person anticipates the evolution of social media. Internally the Social Media Manager sets the tone, philosophy and strategy (including budget) for Web 2.0, gains appropriate buy-in, then communicates relentlessly. He or she monitors Web 2.0 activities across departments and geographies, guiding participants on integration and best practices while encouraging successful participation. The Social Media Manager is obsessively focused on how results connect to corporate objectives, and is given the tools to measure those results.
Internal/external: 50% internally focused/ 50% externally focused Breadth of channels: Actively advises on, monitors and coordinates SASâ€™ activities on prioritized Web 2.0 channels, with responsibility for exploring & researching relevance of new channels.
Given ultimate authority to define SASâ€™ strategy & approach, including spend, for digital media channels that fall within the scope. Decisions that require budget will be appropriately coordinated with field marketing efforts.
Demonstrated experience with Web 2.0 channels & great affinity for learning new technologies.
Strong relationship buildingskills, including negotiation & executive interaction, ability to coach others
Ability to develop a business vision for social media, including goals & results
Leadership/decision-making: is skilled at articulating to executives and internal teams the importance of social applications and is able to make calm recommendations during crises. Is able to exercise good judgment with quick response time.
Flexible communication skills: Strong editorial writer. Is able to present needs and plans and communicate internally, has a distinct, personable voice for external engagement. Can manage negative situations toward positive outcomes.
Public speaking skills: This person will be the face of SAS Social Media Strategy, and will be called upon to speak to professional groups
Experienced manager: is able to manage budget and a team, if this function grows
Has foresight and vision: identifies Social Computing trends and is able to separate tools from fads
Tools required for success
Social networking analysis tools: Tomonitor/track results of digital media engagement.
Current mobile device(s): To test mobile Web 2.0 applications, monitor flow & delivery of mobile traffic
Â·Coordinate online media outreach and viral campaigns to promote SAS messages that increase awareness and/or drive traffic to the SAS site.
Â·Identify key/targeted bloggers by industry and solution area.
Â·Establish and cultivate positive relationships with key/targeted bloggers, and/or identify SAS marketers and PR managers who should be monitoring and influencing these relationships.
Â·Develop and manage pages on popular consumer social networking websites such as Linkedin, Facebook, YouTube, Second Life, MySpace, etc. as well as popular technology sites intended to increase brand awareness and drive traffic to the site.
Â·Develop and publish internal strategies for social media projects and technologies.
Â·Coordinate social media activities by actively engaging in consumer and industry conferences, blogs, video sharing, online chats, wikis, etc., to promote SAS messaging and increase brand awareness resulting in driving brand traffic to the site.
Â·Engage in regular participation within the customer community, including the review of user blogs, wikis and communities such as sascommunity.org.
Â·Recruit, develop and coach new bloggers and blog editors.
Â·Manage the day-to-day blogger activities; proactively identifying and developing blog posts, recruiting bloggers and assigning blog ideas to others.
Â·Track and monitor the success of online initiatives (i.e. impressions, reach and influence), and provide reports for directors and execs.
Â·Identify and report on digital/social media trends to PR and marketing leaders.
Â·Educate staff on the implementation and use of new technologies.
Â·Promote and evangelize social media activities internally.